Murdered NY boy's family thanks supporters


The note, posted on the front door of the family's Borough Park apartment building Friday morning, read:

"We are forever grateful and thankful to Hashem. We would also like to express to each and every individual - to our friends and neighbors and our fellow New Yorkers and to all the volunteers and to all the agencies from the local, city, state, and federal, who assisted us above and beyond physically, emotionally, and spiritually - and to all from around the world, who had us in their thoughts and prayers. From the depths of our mourning hearts, we thank you!"

The posted statement also asks anyone who wishes to send their condolences to the family to email them at

Sabbath goes on

There is a hurried feeling on the streets of Borough Park every Friday.

The Orthodox Jewish community prepares to welcome the Sabbath, or Shabbat.

"We basically rest, forget about what's going on in the world and celebrate peace,"

It is a tall task this week.

There is a heavy heart here on this holy day over the most unholy of acts.

The community will celebrate the Sabbath without 8 year old Leiby Kletzky, who was savagely abducted, murdered and dismembered just days ago.

Jonathan Schwartz's son was good friends with Leiby. He is sad and confused.

"He asked me the other night, 'Does god just take away 9 year old boys?' What can you say to this? I told him no. God loves children," Schwartz said.

Fresh flowers are taken home. Challah bread is baked by the thousands. Men prepare to pray. The women tend to the children and get the household ready for dinner. Shabbat is a time to celebrate, but how difficult that must be on this particular weekend. That is why Jewish law forbids mourning on the Sabbath.

"We have to get the message from this child's passing away, the way he went away," said

A man who grew up in Israel with Leiby's grandfather says that message is one of peace.

He is devastated, but strictly follows Jewish law, so his focus will be on celebrating the Sabbath. He is realistic as well.

"To say that people can continue Shabbat without any thought about it is very difficult. So the law is you keep Shabbat Shabbat," he said.

Leiby's family will stop sitting Shiva, the traditional mourning period, until Saturday night. Just a brief pause in what will now be a lifetime filled with sorrow.

The Investigation Meanwhile, a grand jury continues to hear evidence against the the hardware store clerk accused in the murder.

The indictment against 35-year-old Levi Aron could come in the near future. The suspect, expected to be charged with first-degree murder in the death and dismembering of Leiby Kletzky, is in protective custody and under a suicide watch because his lawyer fears for his safety.

Aron, who is set to undergo a psychiatric evaluation on Rikers Island, will not testify before the grand jury as it considers his case. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is asking for an indictment on the maximum charges permitted by law.

"I have some serious concerns about the defendant's mental state, his cognitive abilities," attorney Pierre Bazile said. "He has indicated to me that he hears voices, and there are some hallucinations involved as well."

Police continue their exhaustive quest for evidence at Aron's home. Police have seized three computers and searched the overgrown backyard.

Aron has denied molesting Kletsky, but police still consider that a possibility. Neighbors are still stunned.

"He looked quite the normal guy," neighbor Mohammed Saleen said. "He was quiet, he didn't talk much."

Aron allegedly told investigators that just hours after the abduction, he took Leiby on a road trip to the Dutchess County village of New Square, leaving the child in the car while he attended a wedding.

Investigators have downloaded security video from the event hall's closed-circuit cameras.

"We cannot say definitively if the boy was with him or not," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "He does make a statement that the boy was with him. No one saw the boy."

Kelly says Leiby appears to have been suffocated, but there will be more tests to establish that, as well as the time of death.

It also appears Leiby spent his final moments fighting for life, scratching the arms and hands of his attacker.

"It's reasonable to say at this time, based on the marks on the defendant, that there was some struggle," Kelly said.

Police continue to guard the street in front of Aron's house. Investigators could be seen carrying out bags of evidence early Friday. But while they may find evidence, they may never find the answer to the question on so many people's minds. Why did this 8-year-old boy have to die?





For more information on The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, please visit:

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.